Law enforcement wants to force companies to build a backdoor to the software that runs on your phones, tablets, and other devices. This would allow easier access to the information on your device and the information that flows through it, including your private communications with others, the websites you visit, and all the information from your applications. Join EFF’s Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they talk to Riana Pfefferkorn, a lawyer and research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory, about the dangers of law enforcement trying to get these backdoors built and how users' lives are better without them.
More than ever before, users—from everyday people to CEOs to even high-ranking government officials—have troves of personal and work-related information on their devices. With so much data stored by such a wide variety of users, including government officials, why would law enforcement want to create a vulnerability in the devices’ software?
Riana Pfefferkorn guides us toward an internet that prioritizes users over the state and how that would lead to individuals having the ability to express themselves openly and have safe, private conversations.
In this episode you’ll learn about:
Different types of data law enforcement try to gather information from, including “at rest” and “in transit” data.
The divide between law enforcement, national security and intelligence communities regarding their stance on strong encryption and backdoors on devices.
How the First Amendment plays a role in cryptography and the ability for law enforcement to try to force companies to build certain code into their software.
How strong encryption and device security empowers users to voice their thoughts freely.
Riana Pfefferkorn is a Research Scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory. She focuses on investigating and analyzing the U.S. and other governments’ policies and practices for forcing decryption and/or influencing crypto-related design of online platforms and services via technical means and through courts and legislatures. Riana also researches the benefits and detriments of strong encryption on free expression, political engagement, and more. You can find Riana Pfefferkorn on Twitter @Riana_Crypto.